Open source affiliate software, you ask? Sounds too good to be true? We have all been there: you want to start an affiliate program or add an affiliate program to your business. There are only 2 options: a free software script that is buggy and not-secure or an overpriced option.
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And it’s tough to choose!
If you are just starting out, most likely, you want to just test the waters. See if the business is expected to bring ROI quickly. You probably already have tons of expenses on other marketing needs.
Unless you are a business with deep pockets, you have to keep track of your expenses and not invest much upfront.
This is why open source affiliate software is a handy alternative.
Most people prefer to start with a free script or software and upgrade to a paid version once they reach a certain volume of clients or sales.
Affiliate marketing software open source options are endless. There are literally dozens upon dozens of websites that offer an open-source affiliate program software plugin or script that you can easily implement in your business.
Affiliate software is a significant expense for many entrepreneurs, but it does not have to be. Many developers worldwide have been creating their own free variations of popular affiliate software programs for years.
And, those alternatives are often just as good and safe as paid software packages.
The days when you were obliged to pay hundreds of dollars for an affiliate software are behind us.
Over the past ten years, budget-friendly and open-source affiliate software have expanded enormously.
Those free or low-cost affiliate software are now a more suitable replacement for many standards and more expensive affiliate software packages.
Affiliate program software – open source?
An essential aspect of open source affiliate software is that the software’s source code is accessible to everyone.
As a result, clever minds who stumble upon errors in the software can fix them themselves. These improvements are available to all users after verification by a developer team. This way, you always have the best and most up-to-date version of a package without paying extra for it.
The downside of open source affiliate marketing software is that it could be potentially vulnerable to hackers and various attacks. Since the code is accessible to everyone, it can be more prone to various security holes.
Moreover, since it’s an open-source project, there aren’t many updates or improvements made over time unless the project gets sponsored.
You might find yourself stuck with the same affiliate program software open source script in a few years from now, while others have already moved forward.
You will definitely save money if you decide to opt for an affiliate program software open source project, but is it worth it?
With open source affiliate software, you always get what you paid for.
So, let’s sum it up.
The benefits of Affiliate Program Software (open source)
- The affiliate software is free. Since the software belongs to everyone, no one can charge for it. The people within the project groups who manage and distribute the Open Source affiliate software put many unpaid hours into this. However, they can again earn money with consultancy, technical services, and support because of their experience with the system and their standing within the community.
- With Open Source affiliate program software, you are not tied to one supplier. It is not so easy that you just pick up the website with a CMS and go to another party, but the possibility is there. Just like changing an accountant, for example, this takes a lot of time and energy.
- Affiliate Extras. Almost all affiliate program software open source systems make it possible for other programmers to develop plugins. With a plugin, the original system can be enriched with extra functionality. For example, there are thousands of plugins for Joomla to download, from photo album plugins to calendar plugins.
- Open Source affiliate software is often quickly updated with the latest methods. A closed source software project is usually influenced by a group of several dozen programmers. An Open Source affiliate software project with a large community is influenced by several hundreds of thousands of programmers, incorporating new techniques faster. Because open source belongs to everyone, everyone is also willing to help each other. Certainly, with large communities, with millions of users, you only have to search Google for your problem and find dozens of solutions.
The Disadvantages of Open Source affiliate software
- Responsibility. It lies with everyone and nobody. The core developers are, of course, a point of contact. For example, they will take immediate action in the event of a bug report. However, you cannot file a complaint or request a refund anywhere. With Open Source affiliate software, the community expresses its dissatisfaction by no longer using a system. When the community shrinks, this is a sign that the system is not well maintained or technically not well put together.
- Quality is sometimes hard to find. The ease with which a basic website can be set up is increasing by the day. This has a huge advantage but also a disadvantage. It is swarming with so-called experts. Anyone who has once installed Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress calls himself a web developer. It is very difficult for a client to see who has the experience and who does not.
How to deal with Open Source
Going with the flow. Suppose you want to fully enjoy the power of open source affiliate software. In that case, it is best to keep up with the developments and possibilities offered to you. Of course, you can make your Open Source affiliate system “your own” by adding plugins or providing a customized template. However, it is unwise to develop something that is not within the capabilities of the system.
All advantages of open source affiliate marketing software are thereby nullified.
It costs money to have this done. You become dependent on a company. There is no longer a community that can help you or further develop the affiliate software. Suppose you really want something that is not available within the Open Source systems. In that case, you have to take the consequences for this and just like your predecessors at LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Affiliate marketing software open source options could be tempting. Be critical of the affiliate software script you choose; you will have to work with it for a long time. Also, be critical of the plugins you will be using. No matter how good the CMS is, a bad plugin can make the whole system insecure or unstable. And be critical of who you work with. Of course, this applies to all suppliers and specialists.
But when it comes to Open Source affiliate software, you have to have a lot of confidence that this party is really the best and wants the best for you. If you are up for a more premium option, check out affiliate marketing software for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Open Source Affiliate Tracking Software
Generally speaking, open source affiliate tracking software cannot be as good as premium software simply because a lot of effort has been put into the development of the backend, and most companies either cannot afford to waste their time on software that will be distributed free, or will need to charge money for it. Open source affiliate tracking software can be good for very small businesses that are just getting started but will not be sufficient for bigger and more developed companies.
Is opensource affiliate software reliable?
Any opensource solution, especially a complex one like affiliate software,, require a lot of time and money to be invested in it, in order to provide a robust, reliable and secure environment for the business. While opensource affiliate software can, theoretically, be reliable, it’s still a safer bet to go with a premium, paid version.
If you are looking to start an affiliate marketing software project, be sure to use an open source affiliate software as a base, to save time and effort.